According to Olivier Francois, of Fiat, ugliness is the worst pollution of all – which is why the Italian carmaker has produced the “environmentally sexy” 2013 Fiat 500e (pictured).
The battery electric version of the Fiat 500 was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show boasting an 83kW permanent magnet, three-phase synchronous drive motor that produces 147lb-ft of torque. It has a range of 80miles and a city driving range of more than 100miles; while charging time is less than four hours with a level two 240V on-board charger.
Its fuel economy statistics are impressive too: it delivers 116mpge in city conditions and 100mpge on the highway. It also scraps the idea of an “eco” button that is seen on other electric vehicles – stating that eco buttons deaden throttle response for a minimal range improvement.
The Fiat 500e definitely has a focus on fun – as emphasised by the inclusion of a “creep” feature, which launches the car as soon as the brake pedal is released. There is also fingertip control of the driveline with an array of centre-stack mounted buttons replacing the conventional shifter.
Also included to make life easier is a novel parking system known as e-Park prawl. It is activated when the driver pushes a button and locks the gearbox in park mode to prevent movement.
In addition, the vehicle’s responsiveness is enhanced by a 16.3:1 steering gear ratio; and there is an electronic power steering calibration that is tuned for boosted steering response and feedback.
Aerodynamics is another key feature of the vehicle’s design: with engineers attempting to minimise drag. This saw the introduction of a number of exterior system improvements including: under vehicle bellypans; front fascia sealing; and an aerodynamically optimised front fascia design.
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